‘Powerful lobby is hellbent’ for US to go to war w Iran

on 26 Comments

Great piece by MJ Rosenberg at Huffpo on who is pushing for war against Iran– the lobby. Rosenberg says Israel’s sabre-rattling is just that. But it’s intended to jack up U.S. foreign policy yet again and send us to war. Imagine if we had had this kind of incisive commentary fingering the neocons before the Iraq debacle? Here is Rosenberg’s first third. Read the rest (including quote in my headline) at the link:

Wasting no time after its success in getting the administration to oppose Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, and still celebrating the UNESCO funding cut-off, AIPAC has returned to its #1 priority: pushing for war with Iran.

The Israelis have, of course, played their own part in the big show. In the last few weeks, it has been sending out signals that it is getting ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities (and embroil the United States in its most calamitous Middle East war yet).

But most observers do not believe an Israeli attack is imminent. (If it was, would Israel telegraph it in advance?) The point of the Israeli threats is to get the United States and the world community to increase pressure on Iran with the justification that unless it does, Israel will attack.

Naturally, the United States Congress, which gets its marching orders on Middle East policy from the lobby which, in turn, gets its marching orders from Binyamin Netanyahu, is rushing to do what it is told.

(If only Congress addressed joblessness at home with the same alacrity and enthusiasm.)

Accordingly the House Foreign Affairs Committee hurriedly convened this week to consider a new “crippling sanctions” bill that seems less designed to deter an Iran nuclear weapon than to lay the groundwork for war.

The clearest evidence that war is the intention of the bill’s supporters comes in Section 601 which should be quoted in full. (It is so incredible that paraphrasing would invite the charge of distorting through selective quotation.)

It reads:

(c) RESTRICTION ON CONTACT. — No person employed with the United States Government may contact in an official or unofficial capacity any person that — (1) is an agent, instrumentality, or official of, is affiliated with, or is serving as a representative of the Government of Iran; and (2) presents a threat to the United States or is affiliated with terrorist organizations. (d) WAIVER. — The President may waive the requirements of subsection (c) if the President determines and so reports to the appropriate congressional committees 15 days prior to the exercise of waiver authority that failure to exercise such waiver authority would pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States.

What does this mean?

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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26 Responses

  1. Richard Witty
    November 5, 2011, 12:24 pm

    A house committee is not law.

    It should motivate you to the third power to compile and communicate the better argument.

    This “blame the arguer/messenger” emphasis ALLOWS the proposal, rather than actively opposes it.

    The paragraph cited is important, but less important than putting your weight (or encouraging others) on the argument itself.

    • Cliff
      November 5, 2011, 12:35 pm


    • justicewillprevail
      November 5, 2011, 12:52 pm

      Get over yourself, Richard. He, and everybody here have the ‘better argument’. As usual, you carefully avoid the whole premise, which is the malign and absurdly disproportionate influence the Israel lobby exerts. Spare us the humbug. Even Mossad are unnerved by the Israeli nutjobs who peddle war and destruction from their comfortable tenures.

    • James
      November 5, 2011, 12:57 pm

      the fact us congress is even considering this bullshit shows how beholden it is to aipac and israel’s interests over it’s own… you appear too small minded to acknowledge this, but it is not surprising given your zionist israel before the usa love affair witnessed regularly here at mondo..

    • Chaos4700
      November 5, 2011, 12:59 pm

      A house committee is not law.

      In your mind, Witty, walk through the precise steps in which Israel leveraged our foreign policy, such that now we are threatening to withdraw from UN organizations left, right and center.

    • annie
      November 6, 2011, 3:29 pm

      this is really important information.

      What does this mean?

      It means that neither the president, the Secretary of State nor any U.S. diplomat or emissary may engage in negotiations or diplomacy with Iran of any kind unless the president convinces the “appropriate Congressional committees” (most significantly, the House Foreign Affairs Committee which is an AIPAC fiefdom) that not engaging with Iranian contacts would present an “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States.”

      To call this unprecedented is an understatement. At no time in our history has the White House or State Department been restricted from dealing with representatives of a foreign state, even in war time.

      If President Roosevelt wanted to meet with Hitler, he could have and, of course, he did repeatedly meet with Stalin. During the Cold War, U.S. diplomats maintained continuous contacts with the Soviets, a regime that murdered tens of millions and, later, with the Chinese regime which murdered even more. And they did so without needing permission from Congress. (President Nixon was only able to normalize relations with China by means of secret negotiations which, had they been exposed, would have been torpedoed by the Republican right.)

      But all the rules of normal statecraft are dropped when it comes to Iran which may, or may not, be working on developing a nuclear capacity. Of course if it is, it is obviously even more critical that the American government officials speak to Iranian counterparts.

      But preventing diplomacy is precisely what Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Howard Berman (D-CA), leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee which reported out this bill, seek.

      once again witty jumps so fast to be first comment he skips reading the link and makes comments like “A house committee is not law.”

      i’m so over having threads highjacked with this kind of stupidity. it’s infuriating.

  2. seanmcbride
    November 5, 2011, 12:33 pm

    If an Iran War causes the catastrophic collapse of the American economy, guess who is going to be blamed for the mess.

    • Avi_G.
      November 5, 2011, 1:15 pm


      Because the US public can’t tell the difference between Persians and Arabs and because the US media will sell them on the notion that Iran dragged the US into a war, what with its nuclear program.

      • Chaos4700
        November 5, 2011, 1:33 pm

        I don’t think so. The desperate attempts to paint the 99% as inherently anti-Semitic is going to be the tail that wags the dog, I think.

    • MRW
      November 5, 2011, 1:44 pm

      No, Avi, Jews will be blamed.

      Read the last phrase of MJ’s piece: a powerful lobby that is hell-bent for war.

      The gloves will come off. Every gentile American who bites their lip and scratches their left ear with their right hand not to appear or say anything that could be construed as anti-semitic won’t care.

      American Jews will be blamed for this. You thought you saw anti-semitism in Germany in the 30s? Try five times that here in the US.

      American Jews have their heads in the sand if they think this isn’t going to happen if these warmongers get their way.

      • Chaos4700
        November 5, 2011, 2:14 pm

        Just thought it would maybe be fair to drive the point home here about the sort of fire that is being played with by Zionists in the US.

      • Avi_G.
        November 5, 2011, 2:32 pm

        Do you guys really think that people who are not as knowledgeable and as tuned-in as you guys are really going to know that Israel was really pushing for the war? Is there any recent polling data on the number of Americans who still think that Iraq was behind 9/11? That would be an indicator, in my view.

      • Chaos4700
        November 6, 2011, 9:44 am

        That’s a good point, to be fair.

      • Taxi
        November 5, 2011, 2:53 pm

        Why should hostility towards zionist warmongering jews be called ‘antisemitism’ in this our 21st century?

        The usa ain’t frigging Germany circa 1938. The American masses aren’t the frigging cruel blue-eyed Aryan nazis forcing American jews to live in pogroms in Manhattan and Beverly Hills!

        Seriously, I staunchly object to a backlash against unpatriotic citizens being called ‘anti-semitic’ just because the perpetrators of treason are jewish!

        Now way!!

        That categorization belongs in the 2oth century!

        Acts of high treason, such as congress and aipac are committing, should be called just that: treason: simply, TREASON against the Republic. And hostility to treason and to treasonous individuals or organizations, is a kinda of an expected reaction from the masses, whether the treasonous entities are jewish or christian or atheist.

        Let’s be clear and precise what we’re defining here.

        Let’s leave frigging religion out of the frigging picture!

      • MRW
        November 7, 2011, 11:01 am

        You’re right, both Taxi and Avi. But it’s going to come to a head if we bomb Iran for what is ultimately perceived as no reason. People are going to search for reasons online, and discover what they didn’t know otherwise. You can take anti-semitism to the bank, and no one is going to give a shit that it exists.

      • jewishgoyim
        November 8, 2011, 7:29 pm

        Well, MRW, I thought this would happen after the Iraq (talk about a war launched for no perceived reason!) and it did not happen. It was in fact so far from happening that neocons are gung ho with Iran now. You can be sure that if there had been just a slight backlash after Iraq, a lot of people within the Jewish community would tell the neocons to shut up about Iran and make no waves.

  3. pabelmont
    November 5, 2011, 12:51 pm

    1. It does not declare Iran or any part thereof a terrorist.
    2. It leaves dangerously in the air what “presents a threat to the United States or is affiliated with terrorist organizations” means as applied to any person that “is an agent, instrumentality, or official of, is affiliated with, or is serving as a representative of the Government of Iran; ”
    3. It is not clear who is a person “employed with the United States Government” [with, not by] :: does this include contractors?
    4. It does not prohibit contacts by folks not employed “with” USG, thus does not prohibit contact via some third parties.
    5. IT APPEARS TO PROHIBIT DIPLOMACY conducted by DoS personnel — who are surely employed with USG — IF such diplomacy would be with a representative (etc) of Iran who was also a terrorist or a threat to USA :: but who is that?
    6. Seems to suggest that Secretary Clinton may not talk to the guy who gave money to the Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi unless he is non-Iran-gov’t.
    7. Seems to sanction USG, not Iran (except for cutting off some contacts).
    8. Might prohibit a USG policeman from arresting one of these folks (if an arrest is a “contact”).

    Rather confused in purpose and in provision. If I worked for or with the USG, I’d be careful if this becomes law.

  4. seafoid
    November 5, 2011, 12:56 pm

    Sanctions aren’t going to work. If Americans and Europeans won’t trade with Iran, China and Russia and the rest of Asia will. Iran is a long term growth prospect. Israel isn’t. And business is business.

  5. justicewillprevail
    November 5, 2011, 12:58 pm

    No doubt there were will be more planted ‘media scare stories’, like the ridiculous Mexican assassination farce. We saw plenty of it before the Iraq fiasco, now history is being repeated, by the same warmongering, unrepresentative, lying scumbags, many of whom are dual citizens or just worship at the altar of AIPAC, and their generous pork barrel.

  6. MRW
    November 5, 2011, 1:57 pm

    The word from Veteran’s Today is that the Israelis have invested billions in oil futures and will be rendered bankrupt without a war that drives the price of oil up, and that factions in Iran are conspiring with them because they are in the same position. Crazier reasons have abounded in the past. Quien sabe? Read it:

    • Am_America
      November 7, 2011, 11:41 am

      ahhh yes, Gordon “Hitler was a voice of reason” Duff.

    • Am_America
      November 7, 2011, 11:44 am

      Veterans Today Secret contacts between Prime Minister Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Khameni and counterparts in Israel, Russia and Turkey have been uncovered outlining a plan to stage an attack on Iran by Israel with full permission of the key groups within the leadership of the Iranian government and the clerics who oversee them. Members of opposition groups who have learned of this plan are livid.

  7. Kathleen
    November 5, 2011, 2:02 pm

    “Great piece by MJ Rosenberg at Huffpo on who is pushing for war against Iran”

    Anyone paying attention all ready knows the answer to that question? Most of the same folks who were part of the team to lie the US into Iraq as well as Aipac, Jinsa. The pressure has never stopped. If Obama does this he is over and the I lobby does not care.

    Foreign agents in our congress and in the I lobby far more committed to Israel no matter what they do than to the US

  8. Scott
    November 5, 2011, 2:47 pm

    “Imagine if we had had this kind of incisive commentary fingering the neocons before the Iraq debacle?”


  9. seanmcbride
    November 6, 2011, 9:10 am


    I think there is a strong possibility that Zionism and the actions of the Israeli government and the Israel lobby could lead to the biggest explosion of antisemitism in world history, and especially in the United States and Europe. In fact, that is precisely the outcome that many militant religious Zionists, both Jewish and Christian, are working to achieve — it’s a key component of their ideological narrative and agenda.

    Ugly attacks on influential Americans and Europeans by pro-Israel activists and militants continue to escalate in volume and hysteria as Israel’s political position in the world continues to deteriorate. Many of these pro-Israel activists and militants (especially neoconservatives) loudly proclaim to be speaking for “the Jews” — all of them. Most non-Jewish Americans and Europeans don’t know enough about the complexities of Jewish culture and politics to question their claims.

    Israeli policies on their current course (especially the drive to attack Iran) could easily lead to the catastrophic collapse of the American economy and cause enormous misery for most Americans.

    Can’t you see where this is going if most Jews don’t begin to push back effectively against Likud Zionists and Greater Israelists? Even some former Mossad heads seem to be grasping the urgency of the situation.

  10. pabelmont
    November 6, 2011, 11:14 am

    Want to see how badly drafted (or dangerous, indeed, DRACONIAN) the House Foreign Affairs Committee proposed “crippling sanctions” legislation is?


    A determination to impose sanctions under this title
    shall not be reviewable in any court.

    So, the president (say President Cain) may, arguing to himself — evidently not to any court — that a “person” (corporation usually) has done the naughty by helping Iran develop petroleum production may SANCTION that person, and that person has no right to review such sanctions in any court.

    Wow! Not as bad as “the president may order the assassination of any person, anywhere, irrespective of any consideration or law, without such person’s having any right to judicial review or compensation either before or after such order (or such assassination); PROVIDED HOWEVER that such president mumble the word “terrorism” under his breath while making such order.” (BTW, THIS APPEARS TO BE OBAMA’s view of his present powers!)

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